Every day there seems to be a new magic bullet or industry secret for being your best self. Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s not-so-secret habit for maintaining her physique: Hitting the gym and putting herself first.
The 55-year old best-selling author and humanitarian shared this photo on her instagram on Oct. 20th. She captioned it “It doesn’t always feel good in the moment. But after the fact, I’m always glad I hit the gym,” in an inspiring #SelfCareSunday tribute.
In the caption she asked users how they take care of themselves. Garnishing responses from fellow celebrities, such as Tom Brady of the New England Patriots who replied with a football emoji 🏈.
Doing push-ups with Ellen DeGeneres is fun, but what exactly does Mrs. Obama do at the gym to maintain such a sensational body and mindset towards?
The “Let’s Move!” campaign founder has become an active gym-goer. While in the White House she took private SoulCycle classes while in the White House and made public SoulCycle appearances.
The Obamas’ certified trainer Cornell McClellan, shares a 20-minute arm workout that Mrs. Obama might power through about once a week when she’s focussing on toning up her arms.
Get your heat pumping
Start by doing 10-15 minutes of light cardio. Then grab a set of weights that work for you and do the following exercises three times.
Alternate Hammer Curls
Curl the dumbbell in your left hand towards your shoulder, being at the elbow, while your right-hand remains still at your side. As you lower your left dumbbell back to starting position, start to raise your right dumbbell. Do this for 15 reps for a total of one minute.
Overhead Tricep Extension
Stand with your feet hip-length apart with your hands wrapped around one dumbbell. Lift your arms overhead, then slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head, elbows pointed towards the ceiling, and then return to starting position. Do this for 15 reps.
Continuous Tension Bicep Curls
Stand with your arms at your sides, elbows slightly bent, palms facing toward the ceiling as you hold a dumbbell in each hand. Curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders and count for 2 seconds. Lower them back to start and count for 4 seconds. Do this for 15 reps.
Concentration Bicep Curls
Standing with your feet hip-length apart, step your left leg straight back while you bend your right knee slightly. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand as you lower your chest so you can press the elbow against the inside of the right thigh with your elbow bent at 90 degrees. Slowly extend your arm fully toward the floor and curl back to start. Do this for 15 reps then return to starting position and switch sides, doing the left side for 15 reps.
Close Grip Triceps Push-Ups
Starting in a standard plank position, with your arms close to your body, your elbows pointing back, and engaging your core, lower your chest to the ground. Return to start and do this for 15 reps.
Around The World Shoulder Flys
Beginning with your feet at hip-length with a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, create a semi-circle over your head with the dumbbells while keeping them parallel with the ground. At the top, turn the palms to face each other and with arms straight, bring the dumbbells in front of your body. Do this for 15 reps. Reversing the move, start with your palms facing each other and raise your arms overhead. Rotate your palms so they are facing out and down as you lower the dumbbells to your sides, again keeping them parallel to the floor. Do this for 15 reps.
Along with a healthy and balanced diet, this routine can help to build shoulder muscles and add definition so you can have slender arms just like our Forever First Lady.
While on her Becoming book tour, Obama spoke about how women often put their own wellness as a last priority and how she wishes to help change that.
“When it comes to our health as women, we are so busy giving and doing for others that we almost feel guilty to take that time out for ourselves,” she said.
In a 2014 interview with people magazine, she also talked about how her workout regimen has changed over the years and how she does “things like yoga” to maintain flexibility and inner strength.
“I want to feel good, she said. “And I want to be as healthy as I can be because I want to be able to enjoy my 70s and 80s.”
A native of Washington, D.C., Leah Forman is a communications student at The University of Tampa. When she’s not behind a computer, you can find Leah hanging out with her friends, hitting the gym and going to mall. Leah loves the big city life and plans to move to New York City when she graduates. Future Carrie Bradshaw? We’ll see!